Photo Credit: Pfawnn Eskee
When you use your voice, you can initiate change within your community. Being active about something you believe in encourages others to speak out, and helps you become a future leader. There are many ways to get started to advocate for change you wish to see in the world:
- Educate others – School assemblies, community forums, teach-ins, peer education programs and social media forums are a few ways to spread the word about any causes that are important to you.
- Advocate for legislation – Push for legislation by working with groups with similar goals, building coalitions or alliances. You can work on letter and call-in campaigns to legislators to advocate for change in local, state, and federal laws.
- Run for office – Whether running for the school board, community assembly, statehouse or national office, you can have a positive impact on your community. Running for office is good practice for getting involved in a more professional setting.
- Demonstrate – Express yourself and your values or goals with other like-minded people. This can empower you to bring people together for a common cause, as well as help develop your individual voices.
- Social media – Use this platform to create a public awareness campaign that aims to educate people about a specific issue to inspire change in your community. Publicity can play a large role and bring awareness to hundreds or even thousands of people.
- Raise money – Raising money is a great way to be a part of something and contribute to your community or even larger efforts to create or support change. There are many ways to raise funds. For example, by creating a “fund me” page at a site like www.gofundme.com, you could attract donations from a broad reach of supporters.
- Write letters to companies or political leaders – Writing letters to companies, organizations, political leaders and even the president can help bring awareness to a specific subject of your interest. Although it is a small act to advocate change, it is a way to use your voice to get out a message that is important to you.
- Community service (volunteering)- If you notice something in your community that can be cleaned or fixed up, you can pitch in to lead efforts or contribute to getting it done.
Many articles in this section were adapted from WeRNative.org, a website for Native Youth by Native Youth